Reginald Demana steps down from Wescoal Holdings, Ramaite takes up interim role

Reg Demana, Wescoal CEO

REGINALD Demana has stepped down as CEO of Wescoal Holdings, the company said in a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange today.

Demana, the former resources banker, will be replaced on an interim basis by Robinson Ramaite, a non-executive director and the firm’s former chairman. Ramaite is also a major shareholder in the company through Simeka Capital Holdings.

Simeka Capital Holdings is a member of a consortium that is buying up shares in the eight million ton a year coal producer. In February, the consortium said it would buy about 85% of Wescoal Holdings, adding that it had full confidence in the firm’s future.

Wescoal reported interim gross profits of R251.9m (six months to end-September 2019: R195.4m) and got back into the black with a net profit of R10.8m (-R50.5m). Net debt dipped to R1.1bn (R1.2bn) while cash and cash equivalents rose to R205.4m  (R132.6m).

Demana was appointed CEO of Wescoal Holdings in February 2019, replacing Waheed Sulaiman who had left the company suddenly in the previous month.

Demana was previously a resources banker with Nedbank and was heavily involved in South Africa’s coal industry where he advised on a string of corporate transactions involving Wescoal’s acquisition of Keaton Energy and the firm’s bid, as part of a consortium led by Ata Resources, for Universal Coal.

His departure from Wescoal means there are two listed coal companies seeking full time CEOs after Brendan Berlin announced a decision to quit MC Mining.